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These pale winter root vegetables are delicious roasted or mashed. Find out how to choose the best parsnips, plus how to prepare and cook them.
The fact that the parsnip is a member of the carrot family comes as no surprise – it looks just like one, aside from its creamy white colour. It has an earthy but sweet flavour and is great used in hearty winter roasts, soups and stews.
Young, small parsnips don't really need peeling – just scrub clean and serve whole. Older parsnips should be peeled very thinly with a peeler or sharp knife, then chopped into evenly sized chunks. If the central core is very fibrous, this should be cut away.
Chop into chunks and roast (40-55 mins). Cut into chunks and boil (15-20 mins). They can also be puréed into a mash, grated into rostis or shaved and fried into crisps.
In the fridge – they'll last for around a week.
Learn how to grow your own parsnips from the experts at Gardeners’ World.
Go for small to medium parsnips, as larger ones can be fibrous, and always choose firm, rather than limp or shrivelled examples. Avoid those with lots of whiskers or brown patches as this indicates that they may well be old or even rotten.
Try carrot or turnip.